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Saturday March 24, 2012

Irn Bru SFL Division 2

Airdrie United




Lovering 74
McLaren 90



AIRDRIE are back in the promotion play-off mix after a third straight victory.

Second-half goals from Paul Lovering and Willie McLaren sank Arbroath at New Broomfield on Saturday.

There were four changes to the Airdrie starting line-up for the visit of second-placed Arbroath.

On-loan Rangers kid Euan McNeil made his debut with Kieron Stallard, McLaren and John Boyle also starting. Jamie Stevenson (suspension), Ricki Lamie, Nathan Blockley and Derek Holmes dropped out.

It was a beautiful day for football with New Broomfield bathed in warm sunshine and Airdrie started brightly, creating a couple of good chances.

Jamie Bain left Kieran McAnespie standing before his shot was blocked wide by keeper Darren Hill who then saved from Boyle at his near post in the 15th minute.

But Arbroath, who operated with a 4-1-4-1 formation, enjoyed most of the possession and put together some decent passing moves in the first half.

Paul Sheerin's men were lacking in the final third of the pitch, though, and their best opportunity belonged to the player/manager who was denied by Grant Adam.

The Smokies came close when Craig Wedderburn headed a Sheerin cross over the bar before Airdrie broke the deadlock in the 74th minute.

McLaren sent in a terrific corner-kick delivery which found Lovering who guided the ball into the top corner of the net for his eighth goal of the season.

And the points were sealed in the fourth minute of injury-time when Holmes knocked the ball on for McLaren who lobbed Hill from just outside the area.

The gap to the promotion play-off zone is now down to just two points after Albion Rovers shocked Stenhousemuir 2-1 at Ochilview.

Colin Paterson at New Broomfield.

Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.

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